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GRAPHIC-Analysts lift Asia earnings estimates for first…

Aug 7 – Analysts nudged up forward 12-month profit estimates for Asian companies in July, the first rise in six months as some regional economies started to witness improvement in factory output and consumer demand.

Estimates for MSCI Asian Pacific index firms edged up 0.9% overall, according to Refinitiv data.

Gains were, however, concentrated in several countries.

Taiwanese firms saw the biggest revisions with earnings forecasts up 3.6%. New Zealand, Australian, Malaysian and Chinese firms saw rises of between 1-3% for forward 12-month profit forecasts.

Helping lift sentiment was an expansion of manufacturing activity in China at its the fastest pace in nearly a decade as domestic demand improved.

Results for the April-June quarter so far have also shown that about 60% of Asian firms have beaten consensus earnings forecasts.

Some analysts said they are looking out for an earnings recovery in coming quarters – one that Asian stock markets seem to be expecting after rallying over the last four months.

“Now the sentiment and liquidity-driven first leg of the rally is partially behind us, the stage is slowly being set for the baton to pass onto the third driver of market returns, i.e. growth,” Ajay Singh Kapur, equity strategist at Merrill Lynch, said in a report.

ANZ Bank said in a report that Taiwanese tech firms have been benefiting from lockdowns globally as increases in remote work spur demand for laptops, tablets, and servers.

“Taiwan will also benefit from the expected recovery in the semiconductor sector and continued 5G network rollouts,” the report said.

By sector, communication services, healthcare, and metals and mining firms – part of the materials sector category – received the biggest upgrades in forecasts.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugbaoopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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